Amazing Shipping Container Bar Conversions

Most shipping containers accumulate as waste once they’ve fulfilled their original purpose. Fortunately, more business owners are thinking out of the box- literally!

Where diners and drive-ins once thrived, shipping container restaurant conversions are taking over one by one. Below are some of our favorite picks for shipping container’s that are converted into restaurants and bars. 

Powder Keg

Powder Keg combines everything people love about the outdoors- booze, pets, and rec areas! They feature a long modified shipping container as their outside bar. The modified container is, of course, the concept behind the name powder keg itself. Pumping out great food and drinks for all its hungry and thirsty patrons.

Also,  guests can look forward to ordering from numerous food trucks during much of the outdoor season. Customers can also enjoy patio games and party vibes under the spread of twinkling lights all the way to midnight. 

The Powder Keg’s unique look and functional container design is made possible by Equipment Management Services Container Modification services based in Houston Texas

Container Bar

If you want to see one of the most popular shipping container bars in Texas, you might want to make your way down to Rainey Street. Bridget Dunlap, who has designed a number of appealing bars, designed Container Bar with local patrons in mind. Shipping containers like this one highlight the best in creativity and resourcefulness. This bar used shipping container modification services to stack seven different shipping containers together.

Container Bar takes green businesses to new heights. The minimalist look and turnkey concept appeals to customers seeking a similar lifestyle.

Once you’re inside, you’ll feel like you are in a chic restaurant, not used shipping containers.

The bar includes a number of cubbies for patrons to enjoy a drink and relax. There are a number of private rooms featuring retro seating, comfy couches, and funky feature walls.

The Pod 

The Pod in San Antonio Texas takes custom container design beyond words. Dining out becomes a novel experience, not just a way to get food.

The custom cooking space utilizes several shipping containers covered in bright coats of paint. They opened with great success a few years back and have since renovated their space to meet the needs of their growing fan base!

The Pod includes a sports bar on the second floor, several outdoor patios from repurposed wood, and a playing field with impressive square footage.

Taco Bell Container Restaurant 

Taco Bell first utilized a shipping container at a film and music festival in Austin, several years ago. The chain introduced classic menu items sold food truck-style from the shipping container. The container opened up on all sides to reveal a fastfood restaurant. 

Now there is a permanent shipping container-based Taco Bell in South Gate California. This place was such a hit, it inspired other fast food chains to seek out restaurants build out of shipping containers. Like Starbucks, who later unveiled a drive-thru shipping container coffee shop. 

Bite-Sized Designs for New Shipping Container Restaurants

Whether you are looking into opening a shipping container restaurant or bar, you will need a space that inspires and delights potential customers.

EMS offers fully customized shipping containers for sale with affordable options and minimal retrofitting needed.

Contact us for a quote on new or used shipping containers to jumpstart your next foodie venture!

Buying Shipping Containers in Dallas: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind

If you’re shopping for new or used shipping containers, you’re not alone. Not only have they become popular for storage, but many also use them as retail buildings, inexpensive homes, or even offices.

Shopping for shipping containers, however, can seem like a tedious process. After all, you need to know how to compare different types of containers and understand your needs very well. You also have to think about delivery.

Read on for four tips on buying shipping containers in Dallas to make the process easier.

1. Know About Container Sizes and Materials

Before you start shopping, you should have an idea of the container size you need for the intended purpose. For example, if you want a small house or office, then a 20-foot shipping container might work. However, a longer 40-foot version can meet your need for transporting a lot of cargo.

You’ll also want to think about the material and durability. You’ll most often find steel containers that can handle a lot of wear, but you also have aluminum options that have less durability but are easier to move around.

If you don’t feel sure about exactly the type of container you need, don’t worry. We can help you find the best option and even offer fully customized and modified shipping containers for sale.

2. Consider Used Shipping Containers

As long as you buy from a reputable provider and do a thorough inspection, you can save cash when considering used shipping containers for sale. In fact, you can cut your cost in half and also spend less for transportation.

On top of the savings, you get a more environmentally friendly option. And despite being used, these containers can still offer durability that will serve you in the long run. 

3. Understand Delivery Options

Due to the size and weight of a Texas shipping container, you’ll need to find the right shipment method that you can afford. You’ll want to ask the seller whether you will need to pay an additional shipping charge and what the charge is based on.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure you have an appropriate delivery spot available with enough space for unloading the container. Also, remember that the ground surface should be hard enough to support the weight of the delivery truck and the container(s). 

4. Ask About Depot Services

Beyond needing to consider which container to buy and how it will be delivered, you should also check which depot services the seller offers. This way you can get some additional services (like container modifications)  thrown into the overall deal. 

For example, shipping container modification services come in handy when you need a custom container. Your seller might also offer repair, painting, cleaning, and maintenance services to keep your container in good shape. You can also find sellers who offer safe storage when you don’t need to use your container for a bit.

Find the Best Shipping Containers in Dallas

If you’re looking for shipping containers in Dallas, look no further than our company. We’ll work with you to help you find used or new shipping containers for sale that meet your needs. We also offer an array of depot services for your convenience.

Are you ready to learn more? Contact us today for a quote and help exploring your options.

9 Creative Ideas for Shipping Container Home Design and Decor

Shipping container home design is creative and versatile and is taking the world by storm. A home made from one of these used containers is special and unique and will be the talk of the town and the envy of all the neighbors. More and more people are using shipping containers for construction of all kinds and the possibilities for them are endless.

Shipping containers are affordable and easy to modify to any homeowner’s desires. They are simple to modify and reusing them in this way is environmentally friendly and financially smart. Once you have decided to use a shipping container in the design of your new home, you’ll be amazed at all the options available to you. 

Shipping Container Home Design is Great

There are many reasons that designing your home out of one or more shipping containers is a great move. First of all, there are thousands of shipping containers out there just waiting to be used. Some estimate that there are over seventeen million shipping containers in existence worldwide. Only about six million of those are currently being used for shipping purposes. 

That leaves a lot of unused shipping containers available for other uses. Standard shipping containers are eight feet wide and eight and a half feet tall. Lengthwise, they are either forty feet long or twenty feet long in most cases.

There are many companies that purchase used shipping containers and then resell them individually or in bulk to consumers and businesses for storage and construction purposes. The price of these containers can vary based on a variety of factors including the number being purchased, condition, color, and other things. However, consumers should be able to find a decent one starting in the range of about $2,000.

Building with Shipping Containers in Texas

Texas is a great state for shipping container construction and it’s not uncommon to see homes, businesses, and offices made from them. Due to Texas’ relaxed building regulations, homeowners will have little difficulty in getting approval to build a shipping container home in most areas. Once you have purchased one or more shipping containers to build your home, the possibilities are endless. Read on to learn about some great ideas for shipping container home design. You will be amazed.

Nine Creative Ideas for Shipping Container Home Design and Decor

There are thousands of great ideas for shipping container home designs, but the following suggestions are just a few to help put your mental wheels in motion.

Many people who first hear about shipping container homes picture a rectangular box with windows. That is one option, but it is rarely the path homeowners choose to take. Those who have done their research know that a shipping container home can be so much more than that. 

A Single Container

One shipping container used alone is, in fact, a rectangular box with windows. However, homeowners can do a lot with even just one. Cutting out big sections of the sides and replacing them with glass can really open up the space. A large, wrap-around deck can also increase the living area as well.

Two Containers

More can be done with two containers. They can be assembled next to each other, therefore doubling the width of the living area. Or, they can be stacked on top of each other to create a two-story home. Some people choose to connect the two containers in a T shape, or have them criss-cross into a plus sign. You could line them up end to end for a longer version, or offset them next to each other for a more creative shape.

Three or More Containers

The more containers you buy, the more options you will have. Three containers could be used together to create a home with two downstairs and one upstairs, or a wide variety of shapes could be created using different arrangements. Four shipping containers next to each other would create almost a perfect square. Alternately, you could organize them into a box with a small courtyard in the interior. Homeowners could also use four or more to design a very interesting multi-level home.

Subterranean Container Homes

If you’d like to live underground to avoid the hot Texas heat, in a shipping container home, you can. Many people bury one or more shipping containers to create a subterranean home or storage area. This method is especially great for man caves and perhaps she sheds.

Create a Swimming Pool

Shipping containers are also great for swimming pools. As with subterranean living construction, you will need to hire someone to dig the hole for you. Once you get it in the ground and add a liner and filter, shipping container pools are easy to maintain and enjoy.

Build a Home on Stilts

If you have a small lot or simply want your home to be elevated, you can build a container home on stilts. You can use the space below it to park your car or to create a lovely, outdoor, screened-in or open-air patio area. Everyone will be so impressed by your treeless treehouse.

Decorate the Outside

Some people do not like the look of shipping container homes because even with windows and doors added, due to the metal exterior, they still look like shipping containers. Although some people love this modern look, others find it off-putting. There are many ways to alter the exterior of a shipping container home design so it looks more like a regular house. Siding and shingles can make a world of difference, and added features like cupolas and porches or decks can change the look entirely. Further, great landscaping can help as well.

Include Lots of Windows

Some of the most beautiful shipping container home designs include broad and numerous windows. Although the use of floor to ceiling glass can add a lot to the cost of construction, it will be worth it. Shipping container homeowners tend to want to invite the outdoors indoors. The contrast between the metal vessel and the natural exterior is striking. Some people add many windows around the container; others add an entire glass wall on either one of the long sides or on one or both of the short ends.

Bring Inside Outside and Vice Versa

Because of shipping containers’ shape, your design may allow you to get much closer to nature than you might in a traditional home. Use deck and patio space to expand into your surroundings, or consider working a tree or two right into your design in some way. A garage-door style door could allow you to literally be just steps away from your kitchen garden. Outdoor seating is great for entertaining guests or simply sitting back with a good book. Hang a hammock between a wall and a tree or pole for more relaxation space. 

Happy Designing

These are just a few of the many options available to you when you decide to build your home out of shipping containers. Shipping container home design is exciting and is growing in popularity all the time. It’s wonderful because it puts the power of design in the hands of the homeowner in an eco-friendly and affordable way.

Be ahead of the curve and start building your shipping container home today. Contact us with any questions you have. We have seen it all, have done it all and we have great ideas to share, too. We can’t wait to hear from you.

A New Way to “Do Drinks”: The Rise of Shipping Container Pop Up Bars

It’s been nearly 10 years since the pop-up craze began to take over the US bar scene. It’s difficult to find a Top 50 bar that isn’t opening up a limited-time pop-up to bring in some buzz. 

And what’s the structure everyone’s scrambling to use in their pop-up bar design? Shipping containers.

Shipping containers are cost-effective and simplistic. If you’re considering opening up your own pop-up bar this year, a shipping container is your best option.

Ready to discover why? Keep reading to learn all about the craze over shipping container pop-up bars. 

Why Everyone Loves Pop-Up Bars

Pop bars first emerged as a way for celebrity bartenders to show off their skills and sell their award-winning drinks to their fans. Instead of making guest appearances at local bars, pops ups offered the opportunity to be creative and get closer to customers.

Now, pop-ups are well-loved by both the people who host them and the customers who attend them. 

Bar-owners love hosting limited-time pop-ups to create a bit of buzz about their brand. It serves as another revenue stream. And for internationally-focused bars, it gets their name out to countries or populations that may not have heard of their brand. 

But customers love pop-up bars, too. It gives them an excuse to change things up for a night and gather with friends in a new and noteworthy locale. The limited-time nature of many pop-ups is exciting for customers, too, and gives just one more thing to boast about in the office on Monday.

A pop-up bar can be a great way to bring new fans to your brand. It can help you celebrate an exciting event (i.e. the Super Bowl) or generate hype around a new cocktail recipe you’re trying out. So, should you start your own pop-up bar?

Should You Start Your Own Shipping Container Pop-Up Bar?

If you’re interested in opening up your own pop-up bar, a shipping container is a surprising yet inevitable choice for your pop-up structure. Shipping containers are cost-effective and trustworthy. They’ve also been used by some of the most famous pop-up bars so you know they’re tried and true. 

Still on the fence about getting in on this evergreen trend? Here are our top two reasons you should start your own pop-up bar using a shipping container.

Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars are Cost-Effective

You don’t have to sign a lease or build something from scratch. Instead, just throw in a standalone sink, a few shelves for your liquor, and you’ll be ready to serve!

Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars are Buzz-Worthy

In today’s competitive age, you can’t afford to lose hype about your brand. That’s why top bars across the country are using pop-ups to keep their business relevant for years to come.

Start Your Shipping Container Pop-Up Bar Today!

Love pop-up bars and want to start your own this year? Then you need to check out Equipment Management Services’ wide array of shipping containers. Browse our shipping container gallery and start creating your very own pop-up bar today!

7 of the Coolest Shipping Container Housing Designs of 2019

Shipping containers are being used more and more in construction. The trend is picking up speed in Houston as people are looking for sustainable living on a smaller budget. 

Shipping containers are a great option since they are repurposed and typically run around $1,400 – $4,500. Since they are gaining popularity there are plenty of different shipping container housing designs.

Here’s a list of 7 different designs that a contractor could help you make into your dream home in Houston. 

1. A Dazzling Guest House 

You don’t have to have a cargo container house to have a shipping container guesthouse. The containers can be modified to fit almost any need you have. It’s a great way to stay in budget while bringing up your property value. 

2. House on the Water

Who hasn’t dreamed about having a house on the water? Freight containers can help make it happen for a fraction of the price. 

You will just need to make sure that the shoreline can support the construction. In most cases, this will also require a special type of permit. 

3. A House Split in Two

In this case, the sea containers are built to be two separated buildings with a courtyard in the middle. This is a beautiful design that is bound to turn some heads. 

Having the center courtyard is great for a family that has kids or pets. Since both buildings look out over the courtyard, the kids and pets will be easy to see where ever you are in the house. It would also work well if a couple wanted to be close to the family but still live in a separate dwelling. 

4. Cross-Shaped Home

This is exactly what it sounds like, one container vertical and one horizontal. It can be beautifully designed to give good use of the vertical space. 

However, it can be controversial if you don’t live in an area that is predominantly Christian.

5. Two Story House

Simple and sweet, a two-story home is a great option for any type of family. It can be small or large and lavish depending on how many containers you want to re-purpose.  

6. Front Porch Living

This type of design has a second story that extends from the top of the home. This design leaves you with more space on the inside while giving you a nice shaded area for your purse. 

This is perfect for homeowners that want an outside living area to enjoy the beautiful Houston nights. 

7. Sloped Roof

If you aren’t into the flat roofs that traditionally come with storage container homes, you can opt-in for the sloped roof. A sloped roof is perfect if you are living in an area with a lot of rain, it will help prevent roof damage. 

Just keep in mind that since you are turning storage containers into homes, they do have to follow the same building codes as a regular house would. 

Choosing Between Shipping Container Housing Designs

There are so many shipping container housing designs that you can choose from. They are a growing fad for many reasons they are typically less expensive, safer in earthquakes and they are eco-friendly.

It’s important to remember what you are looking for and find a design that works for you. If you are interested in buying and modifying shipping containers, contact us

9 Things to Consider Before Building Shipping Container Homes

Building shipping container homes look simple, but any homeowner will tell you that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Your preparation – from research to budgeting to design – will make the most significant difference in your ability to build the home of your dreams on time and “on budget.

What do shipping container enthusiasts wish they knew before they built their first home? We share things you need to know before you build – so read on.

1. Always Check out the Shipping Container Before Buying

Try before you buy” is a pretty common piece of consumer advice. It is particularly important when you buy shipping containers.

One of the most common regrets mentioned by shipping container homeowners is their failure to look at the containers before buying them.

When you buy shipping containers, you choose between three types: brand new containers, one-trip containers, and used containers.

New containers have never seen an ocean liner. But they are popular because you can build them according to your specs. For example, you can ask for a container that hasn’t been chemically treated.

One-trip containers are almost like-new but come with a slightly higher price tag.

At the same time, containers used and abused on boats are likely to come beaten and battered. You can’t plan for dents you don’t see, so it’s essential to at least see pictures of the containers before purchasing them.

Standard vs. High Cube Containers

Height is another common mistake made by customers who try to source containers on their own.

The standard shipping container is 8 feet, 6-inches tall. High cube containers are 9 feet, 6-inches tall. You typically want the high cube containers, which give you a much needed extra head-space. The high cube containers leave you with an eight-foot ceiling even after installation, which adds comfort and space to your home.

2. Ask About Houston Building Regulations

As with any building project, you will most likely need a permit before you get to break ground on a shipping container house in Houston. Shipping container building codes differ by city and even within zones of each city. Talk to your local planning permission office to learn about what kind of permits you need. Remember, it’s better to ask than pay unnecessary fines. 

3. Learn About Structural Integrity

Shipping containers are a robust base building material. After all, their design allows them to be filled, stacked, and shipped endlessly. However, shipping containers still deal with structural integrity issues and understanding how they work is critical for planning your home.

Consider how much steel you need to cut from your shipping container. As you remove material, you remove strength. You inevitably make the structure less sound. In which case you will need to reinforce it with extra steal beams, to make it habitable. How much is too much? Windows and doors won’t dramatically impact the steel’s performance, but removing an entire wall requires extensive consideration.

4. Minimize Welding When Possible

Working with steel containers involves some amount of welding, but if you can, try to minimize the amount of welding you need during the design phase. Welding is going to ratchet up the cost of your home and tack on more time to your building phase. Skip welding except in the necessary places, to ensure you stick to your budget and timelines. 

5. Think About Insulation

As with any home, your insulation should reflect the climate that you live in. An excellent local contractor can make the right recommendations.

The primary challenge you face in insulating your shipping container is the depth of the walls. The steel provides the durability shipping containers need, but there’s not much in the way of thickness. That means you’ll need to build the walls out to install insulation.

The process is similar to installing insulation in a basement. You have two options: build the walls in and remove square footage or build out and alter the aesthetics of your exterior. The decision is yours to make, but you’ll need to make it early as it will impact your design.

6. Plan for Wind

Shipping containers can withstand harsh conditions thanks to the strength they have in numbers. At the same time, even an unsecured, standalone shipping container can withstand winds of 100 mph. However, their ability to withstand those winds doesn’t mean that you’re not going to hear them.

Planning for wind is particularly crucial for Texas shipping container homes. Thanks to the state’s mostly flat geography.

In addition to planning for your container home’s wind rating, you also need to think about ways to block the wind (and the noise). Including these in your initial design plans will help save you time and headache later.

7. Plan for Rain

The State of Texas is famous for its thunderstorms and hurricanes – which can bring incredible amounts of rain in an instance, followed by flooding. 

When you plan your exterior, prepare for rain, particularly with your paint choices. Houston Shipping Containers would need a robust type of paint to withstand heavy rainfall. Ideally, you should choose a marine-grade direct-to-metal paint (DTM) for the job. Both Valspar and Sherwin Williams offer suitable products.

8. Understand That Aggravation Is Part of the Process

Many like the idea of building shipping container homes because it looks and sounds more relaxed than traditional construction.

However, the aggravation you’ll experience with a traditional home build can follow you into your shipping container building plans as well. So be aware of this before you start building. It’s important to recognize this early on, so, you are emotionally prepared to overcome the challenges which will come later. 

9. Choose Experts When Possible

Get in touch with expert designers, structural engineers, and professional drawing services from the beginning, particularly if you want a custom container home.

As strange as it sounds, choosing experienced contractors will save you money in the long run, even if their services cost more up front.

Building Shipping Container Homes Starts With the Container

Building shipping container homes is an exciting challenge for contractors and homeowners alike. As with traditional construction, getting prepared before you break ground will save you time and money throughout your build.

Everything you do, starts with selecting the right shipping container(s) first. To learn more about finding the perfect container blocks for your home, contact our container professionals.

The Inspirational Story of a Texas Container Bar

The city of Austin is a weird city and proud of this fact. The Texas metropolis even adopted the phrase “keep Austin weird” as a semi-official slogan to entice visitors from out of state. So it should not be much of a surprise that local businesses would try to play up the city’s unique vibe as much as possible.

Enter Container Bar, on Rainey Street, that’s built out of seven re-purposed shipping containers.

But why would you build a business out of shipping containers? Is it just a gimmick or is there more to it?

The Life and Story of Austin’s Container Bar

Admittedly, using shipping containers for construction is not new. That idea probably originated with the “micro-home” trend some years back. The idea was to build small, utilitarian, and easy-to-transport homes. With that criteria, using shipping containers was an obvious fit. Shipping containers are prefabricated, cost-effective, and easy to transport from one plot of land to another. So the first container buildings were very small homes built out of single container units. 

Their uniform size and shape let you treat them like Lego blocks during construction. You can arrange them to suit your needs. With so much flexibility, people started using shipping containers to piece together their own custom homes. From there, it was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to move the concept into the commercial space.

A few enterprising business people have already experimented with using containers for pop-up restaurants. These were usually small mobile kitchen or bars, more akin to a food truck than a brick and mortar establishment. But it wouldn’t be long until someone came along and expanded on this idea.

An Idea Born of Necessity

The Container Bar in Austin was the brainchild of Bridget Dunlap. A successful entrepreneur, Dunlap already owned several successful businesses in the city. But when she leased a plot of land near two of her existing venues, she had a mind to do something different.

Most of her previous ventures had been located in old homes that had been renovated into bars. However, around the time that she set to work on her new project, Dunlap recognized that the Rainey Street area was changing.

Dunlap’s first Austin-based bar and the first bar on Rainey Street had recently closed. It was shuttered and torn down to make way for a new, 250,000 square foot residential building. This seemed to be the herald of things to come, as the old bungalows that Dunlap and other local proprietors had been retrofitting into restaurants and venues were disappearing.

Luxury hotels and condos would take their places. And Dunlap recognized that she would need to plan ahead because Rainey Street would not stay the same forever.

A Bar Built to Move

Dunlap went into her new venture knowing that Rainey would only be a temporary home, with a permanent life elsewhere. Normally, having to pick up and move your entire establishment as part of a business plan would be a non-starter.

The decision to use shipping containers for the construction was not incidental. Nor was it just to cultivate an industrial-chic vibe. No, building with containers was essential to the bar’s future.

Ease of transport was a big selling point for people looking to build micro homes, and it would be that quality that allowed Dunlap to move forward with her plans. But even though the containers themselves are portable, Dunlap had her work cut out for her.

While shipping containers are themselves portable and durable, you need to account for all the material you are taking out during construction. Creating doorways, putting in plumbing, and especially multiple stories all need to be accounted for during the design phase.

So Dunlap sought the help of North Arrow Studio, in-order to ensure the container bar would be structurally sound while being fully mobile. Since, this bar would need to hold up to the rigors of being disassembled and moved to a new location in the future. 

All that hard work, however, would pay dividends when the finished product was settled on its first foundation.

The Opening of Container Bar

Unless you were part of the team planning and building the Container Bar, you probably would have had no idea what it would look like when it finally opened to the public.

You might expect a dingy industrial setting, maybe trying to cultivate a sense of danger and mystique. That would be the obvious direction to go. Which is probably when Dunlap opted not to go in that direction. Instead, she took advantage of the container’s compartmentalized nature to give patrons a variety of settings.

Rather than entirely renovating the interiors, Contain Bar uses a series of visual effects to give each area its own feel without entirely stripping away the containers’ utilitarian nature. There’s a winter scene, tiles and gradient patterns, dark wood cladding, gold leaf, and walls of repeating text, to name a few. These scenes are further enhanced with lighting and other visual effects to accentuate the vibe and ambiance. 

Built from seven containers over two stories, the 8,000 square foot space has a mix of indoor and outdoor areas with upstairs balconies and open courtyards.

Inside the structure, you will find multiple cubbyholes, where patrons can relax away from the main bar area. There are also several private rooms, and the mix of mood allows anyone to find a setting that suits them.

What Container Bar’s Success Means for the Future

The circumstances that brought about the Container Bar’s existence are not unique to Austin Texas. As urban areas grow, small enterprises find themselves pushed out to make way for new development.

Hence, more entrepreneurs are looking at shipping container construction. Faced with an unpredictable urban landscape, having the option to pack up and move out is an undeniable advantage.

Are you considering building with shipping containers for your new business concept? Check out some of our trendy container bar ideas. Whether as a permanent or a pop-up installation, they will always create a buzz.

7 Key Factors in the Cost of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes are growing in popularity, enough so that by 2025, Allied Market Research estimates that the global market for shipping container homes will reach $73.07 billion.

Using these containers for your home can be a great choice. They’re very durable, and they can be less expensive than a traditional home.

Even so, before deciding on this option, it’s important to understand the cost of shipping container home building. Here are 7 factors that impact the price. 

  1. Condition of Container

The first consideration in the shipping container home builders’ cost is the condition of the container.

For a home, a new shipping container is the safest option. With a new container, you won’t have to worry about structural integrity or damages. These will also be weatherproof and free from contamination.

As with most things, buying a new container will cost more, around $3,000-$5,000. Getting one can also take longer, since you may need to wait for it to be built and shipped to you.

Depending on your comfort level, you could also choose a high-quality used shipping container. A used container might be half the price of a new one.

If you opt for a used container, find out as much as you can about it. Some things to consider are:

  • How it’s been used
  • What’s been kept in it
  • What climates has it been exposed to
  • If it has any damages or rust

If possible, inspect a used container before purchasing it to make sure you know what you’re getting.

  1. Size of Container

Size is another key factor in the cost breakdown of shipping container home building.

Shipping containers have three standard lengths, but the most popular for homes are 20 feet and 40 feet. Most are 8.5 feet tall, although you can also go for a high cube, which is 9.5 feet tall. As you would expect, the larger containers cost more. For the standard height, you could get a new 20-foot container for about $3,000, while a 40-foot container would cost around $5,600 more.

Also remember that for a home, you might want multiple containers. You could choose a larger option for the main living space, and smaller containers for an office or bedroom.

  1. Prefabricated Homes

The next question is whether you want to get a pre-fabricated, or prefab, home, or if you want to modify one yourself.

The cost of prefab shipping container homes varies widely. You can get fairly basic ones from Amazon for around $40,000 and up. On the other hand, you can get much more elaborate prefab homes for $150,000 or up. It depends on how much space you need, and how many amenities you’re looking for.

  1. Modifications

If you’re not getting a prefab home, you need to consider the cost to convert a shipping container into a home.

Some of the things you’ll need to consider are:

  • How many entrances you want
  • Number and location of windows
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Heating and cooling

All of these modifications add up, so you’ll want to compare the costs against getting a prefabricated home to see which is the most cost-effective.

  1. Insulation

Insulation is another important part of your shipping container home. Without this, you won’t have any protection from heat or cold.

You have three main choices for insulation: spray foam, blanket, or panel.

Spray foam insulation costs the most, from around $2-$3 per square foot. This is still worth considering because it provides a vapor barrier, something the other options don’t have. Spray foam is also very thin, at just 2 inches thick, and it’s easy to install. For either of the other options, you’ll first need to attach a wooden frame to the inside of the container. That takes up additional space.

Panel insulation is the easiest to install, and it’s less expensive, at around $0.75 and $1.45 per square foot. It’s also 3 inches thick, which is a bit thicker than the spray foam.

Blanket insulation is the most budget-friendly choice, about $0.30 per square foot. It’s not difficult to install, but if you choose fiberglass insulation, you’ll need to wear gloves when installing it.

  1. Foundation

As with any home, having the proper foundation is important. Even if you get a prefabricated home, you might need to think about a foundation, unless the prefab comes with a foundation.

As with insulation, you have three foundation options to consider: pier, strip (or trench), and slab.

The least expensive choice is a pier foundation, which is around $550 for a single 40-foot container. It’s also the quickest option, and a great choice if you’re working on the home yourself since it doesn’t require special equipment. For a pier foundation, you need a cement block under each corner of the container and potentially blocks to support the middle for larger containers.

A strip foundation, also called a trench, is useful if the ground is too soft to support a pier foundation. With this approach, you put a strip of concrete around the container’s perimeter. This requires excavation, since the trench is typically four feet deep, although it might be more depending on your freeze depth.

The additional effort of a strip foundation drives up the cost. For a 40-foot container, the cost estimate is around $5,400.

The most expensive option is a slab foundation, which involves putting a slab of concrete under the whole container. This requires excavating the ground under the entire container, which means this could cost around $6,000 or more for a 40-foot container. You would typically choose this option if the ground won’t support pier or strip foundations.

  1. Location and Shipping Fees

The final factor in the estimated cost of a shipping container home, is how far the container is from your building site.

You might think you need to order a container from a far off location, but it’s worth looking for local dealers in the Texas region first. If you buy from someone nearby, you’ll avoid the extravagant shipping costs, and you can inspect the unit before you buy it.

If you don’t have a local dealer, shop around to see if you can find the closest one, or one that offers any price breaks for shipping the container to the building site. Otherwise, transportation costs can add significantly to the price of your home. 

Decide the Cost of Shipping Container Home Building

The cost of shipping container home building is partly in your control once you understand all your choices. Make sure to evaluate all your options and then find the best fit for your new house.

Are you ready to bring your shipping container home dream to life? Contact us today, and our container professionals will help you get started.

11 Tips to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Designing and living in your own shipping container home is a growing trend, and because of the many benefits these homes provide, the trend is here to stay

But building a shipping container home takes more work than buying a few containers and placing them next to each other. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn what you need to know before you start building. 

So let’s get started. 

1. See the Containers Before You Buy Them

Shipping containers have survived a lifetime of traveling back and forth across the open ocean. Because of this, the shipping containers you buy might have dents, structural problems, or a lot of rust. 

That’s why you should ALWAYS see the containers before you buy them. If the containers are on the other side of the world when you buy them, ask the seller for pictures of both the inside and the outside. 

If you don’t want to risk ending up with a damaged used shipping container, you can also buy one-trip containers. These are a bit more expensive than normal used shipping containers, but they will be in much better condition. 

2. Understand Your Building Code Restrictions

Every town has its own building restrictions when it comes to shipping container homes. Make sure you know and understand the codes in your area before you invest thousands of dollars into your design. 

Otherwise, you might have to change your design, which might mean you’ll have to spend more money or lose some of the money you already spent. 

3. Find a Contractor That Can Do It All

When you’re ready to start building your shipping container home, make sure you find a contractor that can do everything you need. If you don’t, you’ll have to find one contractor to place your containers, another contractor to modify your containers, and more contractors to do the interior work. 

Hiring one contractor that is experienced at building shipping container homes will save you both time and money. 

4. Don’t Forget to Insulate 

The walls of a shipping container aren’t like the walls of a traditional house. Without insulation, the inside of your shipping container home will be smoldering during the summer and freezing during the winter. 

So make sure you have a plan for insulation before you start building. 

There are several different insulation options you can choose from when designing your container home. Ask your contractor about things like blanket-style insulation, foam insulation, sheep wool, or a green roof. 

Because—don’t forget—you’ll need to insulate the roof as well as the walls. 

5. Keep Cutting to a Minimum 

Shipping containers are build out of solid steel, which makes them incredibly strong. The walls can easily be used as load-bearing walls for a second, third, or even fourth story. 

But the more you cut your shipping containers, the weaker they get. 

This means you’ll need to spend more money on some type of reinforcement. Be careful where you put windows and doors. 

6. Think About Any Potential Chemicals 

Remember, shipping containers had to survive a lifetime at sea. Because of this, many shipping containers are full of chemicals that can be harmful to live with. 

For example, the wood flooring of the container might have pesticides to keep rats away. The exterior paint on the container might also be full of chemicals to protect them from the ocean salt. 

Be prepared to rip out the flooring of your shipping containers and replace it with something new. You might also want to remove the harmful paint and repaint it with a safe alternative. 

If you don’t want to deal with any chemicals, you can also buy new shipping containers (although they’ll be more expensive). 

7. Know the Differences Between Container Types 

Not all shipping containers are the same size. 

Traditional shipping containers are only eight feet tall. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a somewhat smashed house. You can find other shipping containers—like high cube containers—that are much taller. 

8. Plan Your Plumbing and Electrical in Advance 

You should plan where your plumbing and electrical pipes and wires will be before you start finishing the interior. If possible, ask your contractor to carve the appropriate holes in the right places so you don’t forget anything. 

Otherwise, you may have to rearrange your entire kitchen because you forgot to add plumbing for the dishwasher. 

9. Avoid Welding as Much as Possible 

Since shipping containers are made of metal, you have to weld separate containers together to keep them airtight and structurally stable. But welding is expensive. 

Do your best to design a home that requires as little welding as possible. This will help you save money that you can invest in other important design elements. 

10. Be Prepared for Wind 

Shipping crates are anything but aerodynamic. If you build your shipping container home in a windy area, be prepared for a lot of noise. 

To avoid this problem, you should consider putting your home behind some type of windbreak. If you don’t’ like the look of a windbreak, find a natural location that’s protected from the wind instead.  

11. Know When to Save and When to Spend 

One of the biggest draws of shipping container homes is their cheap price point. But finishing a shipping container home inside and out can get expensive. 

Know when to save and when to spend the extra dollar. Although shipping container homes are meant to be cheap, there are many times when spending that extra money to build-out the perfect container home is well worth it.  

What You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Before you start building a shipping container home, spend some time researching the building codes in your area and what type(s) of container you’ll need to buy. 

Remember, don’t buy anything without seeing it first. Otherwise, you could end up with something dented, damaged, and rusty. 

Not sure where to buy shipping containers?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our options! 

Container Garage Modification by EMS

7 Step Guide to a Successful Shipping Container Garage Conversion

Looking to do add a garage onto your home but don’t want to drop a lot of cash? What if we told you there’s an affordable solution that can cost much less.  Shipping containers are a trendy, Eco-conscious way to add more room on to your home without breaking your budget. There are tons of things you can build with shipping containers, but we’re going to focus on one area of your home — the garage.

Building your dream garage doesn’t have to be difficult — or expensive. It’s easy when you follow our seven steps to creating an incredible shipping container garage.

1. Choose Your Container Size

Some of the largest cargo ships are built to hold up to 20 million containers. It’s safe to say your container choices are far more diverse than you think. The space you have available is going to affect the size of the container you’re going to get. You’ll have to consider the size and number of vehicles you want to store, too. Regarding size, standard containers are often 20 or 40 ft. Beyond that, you can find containers as big as 45 ft and as small as 10 ft.

Got a big SUV or roof racks on top of your car ? Look for a taller shipping container.

2. Choose Your Container Type

Container size is determined by the size of your lot and the number of vehicles you need to store. The type of container you get is more determined by your budget. Containers that are a little dinged and dented with a little rust will obviously be cheaper. If you’re not looking for a project or want a container that’s ready to go, try a one trip container. A one trip container was never part of a cargo operation. They’re in much better condition because they only made one trip — from China to the US.

3. Shipping Container Garage Style

Another thing to consider when building a storage container garage: what style are you going to build? Here’s where you can be as creative as your budget and space allow you to be!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Got a compact car? One container might be enough for a neat and tidy one car garage.
  • Place two containers on each side and put a roof between them. You’ll have plenty of space to store multiple cars plus storage on the side.
  • Stack multiple containers like building blocks around your car storage space. You can create various workshops and storage from all of the containers.

Once you get started, you’ll realize how fun it is to build with shipping containers. Play around with your design until you get it exactly as you want it.

4. Prepare Your Land

Now that you know how you want your garage to look, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. You can’t just drop a few containers and call it a day; there’s a process you have to follow.

First, reach out to your local government to see if you need any permits to build a container garage. You don’t want your project derailed by paperwork.

Once you’ve got the all clear, you have to prep your land. Here’s how:

  • Measure and mark the area you want to use for your garage
  • Clear the area of any plants and debris
  • Lay a basic foundation, like a concrete slab or steel pipe footing foundation

Now you’re ready to bring in the containers and build your garage.

5. Container Garage Basics

Your foundation is laid, and you’re ready to place your containers. There are some basics to consider at this point of your build. First off, if you plan on parking your car in the container, it’s best to position it with the opening facing the driveway. If you’re using the containers for storage, consider pointing the openings towards your house so you can keep an eye on them. Second, if you chose a used container, you might have to do some upkeep. Painting, rust removal and prevention, taking care of dents and scrapes, etc. are all things to consider before you move in.

Containers are easy to build with and durable, so they won’t need much to get started. Just a little bit of work makes it all worth it.

6. Upgrade Your Shipping Container

Most home garages have basics build in that we don’t think about. With a shipping container, you have a bare canvas that you can make into whatever space you like.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Add insulation to your garage if you’re using your containers not just for your car but for storage too
  • Add electrical drops if you want to use the container as a work space
  • Consider air flow and add a few windows if you’re going to be doing projects inside the containers

These are basic upgrades that make a big difference. Think about how you’re using your space and what you need to be comfortable.

7. Beyond the Basics

You’ve got your container garage set up the way you want it. If you want to tinker even more, here are more ideas for ways to improve your dream garage:

  • Add security, like cameras or motion detectors, especially if you keep expensive equipment in your garage
  • A de-humidifier keeps dampness at bay and extends the life of your car and items in storage
  • Install shelving and a work bench to make it your ultimate work-space
  • Add windows to open up the space
  • Lay down flooring or a ramp to make getting in and out easier
  • Need more ventilation? Put in a fan
  • If you change oil, paint, or need a place for runoff to flow, put a drain in the floor

With the money you save by using a shipping container to build your garage, you’ll be able to afford a lot of great upgrades!

Build More with Shipping Containers

Creating the shipping container garage of your dreams is easier and more affordable than ever before. Once you build your garage, you’ll start wondering what else you can do with shipping containers!

We’ve got tons of different containers to choose from and can help with modifications, too. Check out all of your options and build your dream garage today!